Dimm, Boren, and Raash stood at attention within General Gore’s war room. Gore paced about the three for a moment, observing them with a glare of displeasure. He stopped in the center of the three and began to speak in a building uproar.
“Now,” he said as calm as he could mask it. “Run this by me again,” finished Gore, holding a newspaper which displayed a picture of Dimm fleeing from the authorities, headline plastered “Anubian Insurgent on the Rise” on top of the page. “What. Went. Wrong.”
Even with his iron caste covering the lower half of his face, it was clear that Gore was clenching his teeth in anger. Dimm inhaled and let out a breath and replied.
“The goal of the mission was compromised when a lone civilian became hostile towards me as I gathered information; I had no choice but to do what was necessary and retaliate to his advances. Raash and Boren were quick to back up the situation as best they could.”
Gore only nodded as he leaned against the center holomap desk, then looked down to the floor for a moment as he replied.
“This is all perfectly understandable, Sergeant Oxmen. But there’s one little spectacle you’ve forgotten to mention to me.”
The three looked amongst themselves, faces long and nervous; Dimm most of all seeming to dread the coming words.
“Spectacle, what spectacle?” asked Boren.
Gore exploded into rage-fueled scolding, clenching his fists.
“Don’t you dare play stupid right in front of my face!” he yelled. “You thought the damn press would cover your asses forever?! The black network won’t shut up about the giant fight in the east wing against one of you and some hotshot with a scythe! Do you have any idea what kind of fear that instills into the humans?!” he finished as he turned his attention to Dimm in particular. “And I have more than a few reasons to believe that you, Oxmen are the one who fought this man. Now tell me the truth or so help me, you’ll be scraping out the gutters with your own teeth!”
“But General,” began Dimm.
“Enough!” retorted Gore immediately as he pointed to the door. “Private Yarsi. Private Orgeth. Get the hell out of here!”
The two were quick to oblige as they hastily walked and proceeded out. Gore turned to Dimm and marched toward him with that same look of death. Dimm stood his ground and bit his tongue as their faces met within breathing distance of one another. Only a mere moment passed before Gore eased his glare and backed away sparsely.
“I take no pride in belittling,” said Gore, simmering down his rage. “But a failure’s a failure, Oxmen, and you have disappointed m-“
“You’re wrong,” interrupted Dimm, closing his eyes and shaking his head. “The mission wasn’t a failure.”
“Hmm, Is that right,“ uttered Gore as his curiosity struck up. “So you have more information for me then?”
Dimm’s stare met with Gore’s as he replied, starting to pace around side to side.
“That is right. But..”
“But?” asked Gore, seeming to mock.
“The means used were.. Unorthodox,” replied Dimm. “It’s why I was reluctant to report since it sounded so.. Crazy,” finished Dimm as he leaned against the railing circling the war room frame.
Gore crossed his arms and replied in a sarcastic fashion.
“Well that was obvious enough boy! Where are you going with this?”
“Where I’m going is someway, somehow, I could read people’s thoughts!” retorted Dimm, pushing himself from the railing forward and clenching his fists. “Practically everybody that walked by me, I could feel them. I could.. Know them.”
Gore seemed to become concerned of this new revelation, departing his arms and placing them on Dimm’s shoulders as he exclaimed.
“By the Spirits, are you sure, so soon?!”
Dimm stood speechless; he had no idea how to respond to the instant concern and understanding. Gore let go of his grasp and continued as he looked away and paced, hand placed against his iron jaw.
“Hmm. So the exercise was more than successful. Can you read me or your comrades?”
“Only Boren. Everyone else so far, I cannot read.”
“Hmm, strong wills still evade you.”
“I suppose so?” replied Dimm, still slightly confused by the implication. “I don’t think I fully understand what you mean.”
He stopped his pacing and faced Dimm once more, continuing.
“You, my brother could potentially be a prodigy. But then again, that’s determined by what kind of information you gathered, young scholar.”
Dimm pulled himself together, at attention. He spoke with professional presence.
“Upon many accounts into consideration, -both civilian and guard personnel- the general mindset has spoken highly of a new council being established in place of the monarchy.”
Gore replied to this news with great delight.
“Excellent work. And of the battle, where does this fit in?”
“Well..” started Dimm. “He was a civilian that caught onto my recon. He instigated the conflict which escalated into a public spectacle-“
Gore spoke over him.
“This man with the scythe, did you catch his name?”
“He didn’t give it, but I was able to make out his name on my own,” replied Dimm as he pondered. “Gyone Irensho, I believe it was.”
Gore’s curiosity sprang up as the name “Irensho” escaped Dimm’s mouth.
“You’re certain?” asked Gore.
“As certain as I could possibly be, General,” replied Dimm.
Gore walked away and held onto the railing, leaning over in a state of pondering. He spoke –seemingly to himself- after a moment.
“So he bore a child..”
Dimm walked closer to him as he asked.
“Who had a child?”
“A man I fought beside long ago at the Battle of Halsberth Stronghold; a true warrior in his own rite,” replied Gore as he turned around. “He called himself Sullus. Sullus Irensho.”
“Hmm,” Dimm pondered. “I had a feeling that he was no amateur when we fought. How well of a fighter was Sullus?”
“The most skilled and strongest human I have ever witnessed,” replied Gore with a sense of gush in his voice. “He was able to take me down bare-handed! No doubt the son of Sullus would be someone of great prowess with Gale, just as his father.”
“Gale?” asked Dimm.
“If it is what I assume, then this scythe of his was Gale. Black handle and two blades of pure silver, razor-sharp to the touch. Am I wrong?”
Dimm replied as he nodded and revealed the slash mark on his right arm.
“Right on the dot, General.”
Gore let go of the railing and walked to Dimm, placing a hand on his right shoulder as he replied.
“Brother, the mere fact that you are here recollecting taking on an Irensho showcases great promise in you. But..”
Dimm’s growing sense of humble pride dissipated slightly as he heard this pause. He braced himself for the worst.
“You and your comrades need to be made an example of for this potential political poison. For this, you three will be making the “Venom Run” through Scythid territory and will bring back no less than ten spikespores as tribute for your continued loyalty. Fail, and you will either be exiled or executed; dependent you return at all.”
From the words “Venom Run” uttered, Dimm’s expression grew subtly pale at the sound. He replied as he nodded and shut his eyes.
“Consider it done, I will brief Boren and Raash immediately.”
An immediate instinct took over Dimm as he held his hand out just right to catch a sort of gun. It was not his Mauli53 that he was so used to, but something a tad bulkier. Opening his eyes, Dimm could tell that this was a shotgun; the scarce Boomscatter model put away for the upmost important of raids and combat situations. He turned to Gore walking off with arms behind his back, returning to observe the
holomap. Gore spoke to him as Dimm began to make his way to the door, which stopped him in his tracks.
“Yes, General?” replied Dimm.
+”I expect you to bring that back to me.”+
Gyone: Of Roots Bound To part 2
Gyone and Sullus stood adjacent to one another across a dirt road. Gyone brandished Gale with the same sloppy stance while Sullus brandished a simple wooden staff, holding it firm in both hands; dripping down to his left as if ready to swing up for a powerful blow. He stood behind a mild, narrow path within the trees; two trees seemed to be cut down the middle. Sullus spoke to Gyone with the discipline of a true mentor.
“Exactly as I am son. Use the weight to your advantage, but don’t let it sacrifice reach or movement. Make sure never to let the blade stick to the ground while doing so. Ready?“ he started as he pointed to the trees behind him and stood aside. “Now!”
Gyone reacted at the second as he charged the tree with a tight, clenching grasp on Gale. Upon the swing, the blades connected, but stopped dead as soon as they dug themselves into the bark. He barely kept his footing as his momentum halted so suddenly, nearly flinging him forward into the tree itself.
“No, no, Gyone. You’re using too much force on your grip. Try again!” scolded Sullus.
“Enough already dad!” yelled Gyone as he dropped Gale to the ground. “Over and over again, nothing’s changing. Maybe it’s something else.”
Sullus made his way to his son’s side, snatched Gale from the ground, and stepped back a few feet. He did the same as Gyone, only with his hands seeming to relax on the grip. As he swung, his hands tightened up at the precise time of contact; the small tree was carved into straight down the middle, nearly splitting it in two. Sullus looked to Gyone with a smirk on his face.
“Ya see?” asked Sullus. “Nothing to it, just relax and move with her. She’ll guide you as you guide her,” he finished as he rested a hand on Gyone’s right arm.
Gyone looked to Sullus and nodded.
“Alright, one last time.”
“I’d hope so boy,” said Sullus, looking to the multiple cut trees behind them in the same narrow fashion. “I don’t think we have enough to spare.”
Time and time again, the same word rang through Gyone’s ears in a sort of provoking manner. Again, again, again. With each passing attempt, the efforts seemed to slowly improve his technique while regrettably feeding into his rage. Clenched teeth, fresh bruises, blood and sweat alike; he was on the verge of a breakthrough for sure, otherwise this would be lethal. Gyone charged for one last go. Hands clenched at pitch-perfect precision. At the point of contact, it succeeded. The strike sliced the tree in two, just as Sullus had done. He looked to Gyone with a proud smile on his face while Gyone met this, panting and slouching from exhaustion.
“Ya see? Nothing to it,” repeated Sullus.
Gyone smirked while staring to the ground as sweat dripped downward. With a point of the finger, he replied.
“One last time; something feels off.”
Sullus laughed to this and continued to observe.
“Just don’t kill yourself son,” said Sullus. “You’re doing good so far.”
Without a word, Gyone took a new stance. He parted his legs slightly and held Gale lax with both hands, blades facing downward. During this, he began to speak.
“You know, as much as I nailed it, there’s no way I can keep your technique. No. I need something more suited to my strengths; something I can flourish along with Gale. Think I realized around try number fifty.”
This seemed to be a variant of Gyone’s first attempt at a stance, but more focused and seemed to have thought put behind it; thought time being plentiful as it were. He walked forward slowly as he continued. As well, Sullus looked to him with great curiosity as he held his chin.
“May I introduce Gyone Irensho’s very own Whirlwind technique, patent pending!”
With that, he broke into a sprint and subtly released the grip of his left hand as he gained velocity towards the base of yet another tree. He arrived and immediately shifted his footing and began to run up the tree, then slammed the scythe blades into the bark to propel his momentum forward and released it swiftly, throwing himself into a powerful spinning slash downward. He followed suit with the same clenching technique and, thankfully, it accomplished another clean cut. Sullus admired his pupil’s brew, from the likes of which he had not quite seen before so soon and naturally. Gyone landed on both feet straight and he looked to Sullus as if expecting congratulations. Sullus scoffed in a sarcastic fashion.
+”Hmph, too flashy! Like the name though.”+
One would think that he felt.. Y’know.. Obligated to this only out of guilt, but really, you take what you can get, right? Well I got more than expected; he brought me Gale. It’s strange how much of a connection I feel towards it. Her. My thoughts move naturally with her motions as a conduit for my entire body.. Oh geez, now I’m starting to sound like dad. He left for Bogmire at sunrise on his shanty, little barge out into endless oceans; it’s been years since I’ve had to see him off, but it never seems to get any easier.. By the time he comes back, he’ll be looking at a manor, fresh and new as it was before. And maybe that time. He won’t leave again.